March 8, 2021

Green Party leader Elizabeth May touted her party’s data privacy platform Tuesday morning at the University of Waterloo.

“It’s shocking that we have such inadequate laws governing how our own political parties handle citizens’ personal data,” May said in a press release. “It’s time to tighten our privacy laws.”

The Greens promise to mandate personal data stewardship for federal parties, drastically reduce cyber surveillance and empower the national Privacy Commissioner. They would follow Europe’s lead with “right to be forgotten” legislation and require organizations to report data breaches.

The party gave a shout-out to BlackBerry cofounder Jim Balsillie’s recommendations to outlaw personalized election ads, protect whistleblowers and establish an international digital issues institution in its release Tuesday.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May and Guelph candidate Steven Dyck rally supporters in Guelph Monday, Sept. 17. May spoke on her party’s digital privacy plans
Tuesday, Sept. 18 in Waterloo.
Cory Bilyea/The Spoke

Personal data privacy has become a major concern for citizens and governments, especially in the wake of the 2018 Cambridge Analytica-Facebook data scandal. Cambridge Analytica sold voter profiles based on Facebook data collected largely without consent to political campaigns in the United States and United Kingdom.

The Liberal government promulgated a 10-point “digital charter” in May.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer announced his party’s data privacy aims Friday, Sept. 6, including plain-language user agreements, regulating artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, a Canada Cyber Safe brand and security standards for key infrastructure providers.

The NDP and the People’s Party haven’t yet announced any plans on digital privacy.

May heads to Gravenhurst, Ont., Tuesday afternoon, following a mid-day stop in Guelph.

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